At a time when India is grappling with second wave of coronavirus, the union government on Friday announced manifold increase in production capacity of Covaxin in the coming months.
The production capacity is expected to reach nearly 100 million doses per month by September 2021 from the existing 10 million doses.
“Government of India is providing financial support as grant to vaccine manufacturing facilities for enhanced production capacities. The current production capacity of indigenously developed Covaxin vaccine will be doubled by May-June 2021 and then increased nearly 6-7 fold by July-August 2021 i.e increasing the production from 10 million vaccine doses in April, 2021 to 60-70 million vaccine doses/month in July–August. It is expected to reach nearly 100 million doses per month by September 2021,” said Ministry of Science & Technology in a statement.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and the ICMR have developed Covaxin, one of the two vaccines being used in the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.
Few weeks ago, inter-ministerial teams had visited the sites of two main vaccine manufacturers in India to get their inputs on how production can be ramped up, the ministry said.
As a part this augmentation plan, capacities of Bharat Biotech Limited, Hyderabad as well as other public sector manufactures are being upgraded with required infrastructure and technology. Financial support is being provided as grant from GoI to the tune of Rs 65 crore to Bharat Biotech’s new Bangalore facility, which is being repurposed to increase the capacity of vaccine production.
3 public sectors companies are also being supported to increase the capacity of vaccine production.
After receiving permission to make Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, Mumbai-based Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical on Friday said it would take least at one year’s time for the company to start actual production.
Rs 65 crore will be provided by Centre as financial support for this facility to be made ready for manufacturing.
A top official said once functional, state-run company is targeting to produce nearly 23 million vials of the vaccine per year. The Central government has, however, said it asked them to expedite and complete the task urgently within 6 months.
Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), Hyderabad, a facility under National Dairy Development Board and Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Limited (BIBCOL) , Bulandshahr will also provide 10-15 million dozes per month by August- September 2021, said government.